The popular cholesterol-lowering statin drug Advicor (generic: niacin and lovastatin) has been linked to severe muscle damage, myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, kidney and liver failure, type 2 diabetes, and death. Despite the growing number of reports of these types of side effects in Advicor users, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to issue a nationwide recall for the drug. Even if the medication has not been recalled, an Advicor lawsuit may be filed on your behalf to obtain compensation for your injuries.
Manufactured and marketed by Abbott Laboratories, Advicor is a widely-prescribed medication used for lowering cholesterol levels. It is a combination of extended-release niacin and lovastatin that is designed to reduce levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing blood levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Advicor was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2001.
Side Effects of Advicor
Despite showing promise as an effective treatment for high cholesterol, high doses of Advicor and other drugs from the statin class have been increasingly linked to the following serious side effects:
- muscle damage
- kidney damage
- kidney failure
- type 2 diabetes
Advicor & Myopathy
A number of Advicor users have reported cases of myopathy, a severe form of muscle damage characterized by muscle fibers no longer being able to function correctly. Signs and symptoms of the disease vary on a case to case basis, but typically include:
Treatment for Advicor-induced myopathy depends on the severity of the condition. Options may include drug therapy (treatment with immunosuppressives), physical therapy, bracing to support weakened muscles, or surgery. For extreme cases of myopathy, supportive or symptomatic treatment may be the only beneficial course of action.
Advicor & Rhabdomyolysis
Rhabdomyolysis is a severe muscular disease characterized by the rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle, which results in the release of myoglobin into the bloodstream. Myoglobin is harmful to the kidneys and often results in severe kidney damage and / or total kidney failure. The diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis is typically confirmed through blood tests and urinalysis. Signs and symptoms of Advicor-induced rhabdomyolysis may include:
- muscle pain
- tenderness, weakness or swelling of the affected muscles
- low blood pressure
- abnormal heart rate and rhythm
Advicor Kidney Damage
Severe cases of kidney damage are characterized by the sudden inability of the kidneys to remove waste and concentrate urine without losing electrolytes. The condition can occur from an acute situation, chronic problems, or from high doses of statin medications like Advicor. Signs and symptoms of Advicor-induced kidney damage may include:
- weight loss
- nocturnal urination
- more or less frequent urination habits
- bone damage
- muscle cramps
- abnormal heart rhythms
- muscle paralysis
- swelling of the legs, ankles, feet or hands
- low blood pressure
Are there other cholesterol-lowering that can cause these side effects?
Along with Advicor, the following statin medications have also been linked to the side effects mentioned in this article: